Nebraska Postgame Presser Transcript: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 19th, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Brady Hoke

Can you talk about the importance of special teams today? “Well that was a big part of -- it always is a big part of every game, but to be able to knock some balls loose and start with great field position is a good thing for us. Obviously offensively having a short field, I thought that was a big part of what our kids were doing and what helped us today.”

How happy are you with all three phases of today’s game? “Well it’s probably as well as we’ve played with all three phases. We still had some opportunities from an offensive standpoint that we didn’t take advantage. Then we don’t field a punt and [it] backs us up, then we’re kicking with a short field … there’s always something. I can sit up here and go on a long time about that, but as a group, they played with a great toughness and complemented each other well. I thought the guys up front offensively were really working hard to make things happen. Fitz did a nice job. Denard did a nice job. Defensively, our front seven played well.”

With everything that was going on today, did you feel an additional pressure to win? “No. No. We’re going to win the game. We’re going to fight and compete and coach and motivate and do all those things.”

What did you do differently in kickoff coverage this week? “We really didn’t do anything differently. We challenged our guys, which you always do. For them to outcompete the guy they’re playing against. T-Rob hit him and the ball came out, and Cam hit him and the ball came out -- it was really just playing and competing as best we could, every guy who was in that locker room.” Were they going harder? “You know, I don’t know if they were going harder. It looked like about the same speed we do going down.”

How big was the blocked punt and converting it into a touchdown in terms of momentum? “That was huge. When he kind of dropped it there and ran -- yeah. Field position again is a huge part of it. We capitalized on a mistake in there that happened. The hustle that the guys showed, I thought, was great.”

Talk about Denard’s poise in the pocket and the challenge of having to run plays without a play clock in the beginning? “Well, you know, a couple things. Number one, I think the one thing we could do as a coaching staff and as an offense is make sure that we’re getting the plays in as quickly as we could. We had to make sure the huddle was set as quickly as we could get it set. If you’re a receiver or one of those guys coming in and out, you’re hustling on the field or off the field -- those personnel groups. The first one, the penalty we had, that’s on me. I should have called a timeout. For me not to do that, that’s bad coaching. I thought he did a tremendous job.”

How much has this defense grown since January? “The seniors on that defense have done a tremendous job. They’re prideful kids, the Mike Martins, Van Bergens, Woolfolks. We from day one have said that we are going to play and coach for our seniors. I think the young guys understand that and I just think fundamentally and technically they’re playing what they’re coached to do, and they’re playing together. That’s been fun to watch.”

How were you able to limit Burkhead? Was there anything you saw on film? “No. You’re just doing your job. If you’re a nose tackle you’re getting a double or a base reach. You have to play the base reach and get off and make plays. We talked about because of the physicalness that he likes to run the football with, that we wanted to try and get 11 guys to the ball all the time.”

Is that the best you’ve seen Denard play since you got here? “I don’t know. I’d have to rewatch it probably. I thought he did a nice job managing our offense. I think he took advantage of some creases that he found in there and accelerated through them pretty well.”

Could you have dreamt of a better way to welcome Nebraska to the Big House and the B1G? “Well I don’t know. They want to win, we want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s Nebraska or Slippery Rock. We want to win the football game. I’m just being honest about it. We have a lot of respect for Nebraska. The pride and the tradition that they have. Bo Pelini is an excellent football coach. They’re a good football team.”

Can you comment on the time of possession disparity (42 min to 18 min)? “You play really good defense when you get to watch your offense. Believe me, and that’s part of it. Our offense, not every game, but having a little bit of an advantage in time of possession. One of our best defensive calls is them on the field. And then you look at the defense, I think we were 3 of 13 defending them in third down conversions -- you’re helping yourself defensively and getting off the field.”

With six minutes to go, the crowd was chanting “Beat Ohio, Beat Ohio.” Thoughts? “Well, we’re going to really go to work on that tomorrow. But that’s our next opponent.”

Can you talk about the momentum you have going into the Ohio State game? “You know, we won two in a row, right? There’s another to go win.”

Is this as close you’ve come to play the kind of football you envisioned when you started? “You know, we definitely want to run the football. We want to control it. We want to take care of the football from that standpoint. And we want to play defense as 11. We want to play defense where we’re stopping the run and then putting people in situations where they feel they have to throw the football. That’s where some of the uniqueness of what Greg does has been good for us.”

Can you talk about picking the spot to fake the field goal? “We had put it in. It’s the one Penn State used against us in ’95? I think it was ’95 up there. [We] wanted it on the right hash, [and] they gave us the look that we wanted. Even if we had kicked the field goal, Drew Dileo -- having him as a holder, he’s such a smart football kid. He did a tremendous job with it. You got it, you might as well use it.”

Thoughts on how Denard played on third down? “Well I thought he did a nice job. Believe me, because we were making low yardage on first down and on second down we went backwards a couple times. When you get into a situation [with] those longer third downs, I thought he was very accurate with the ball when he was throwing it. I think the throw that he made for the touchdown to Martavious Odoms was as good as a throw I’ve seen him make, especially on a long ball. It was a great catch by Martavious, but that’s where he had to put the ball.”

You’ve emphasized Ohio State since the first press conference. Why is this going to be different, and how does it feel to go into it with nine wins? “Well I think any time that rivalry is played, and believe me, we appreciate it always at the end of November. We have tremendous respect for that football team and that program and that school. It’s exciting." 

"It's exciting! You get excited! Look!”

When you hear the fans chanting it, does it get you a little charged up? “Well it’s eight days, less than eight days.”

Defending the option, whose responsibility was it mostly? “Well it was more the ends. Our ends did a nice job on the quarterback. We tried to keep the backers inside because of what they were doing with the zone part of it and put it on the two ends. The one he got out earlier in the game, our end didn’t do the job he should have.”

Did you change some things on offense? Seems like Denard was making more checks at the line. “No. Not really. It was about normal.”

Don’t hate me, but as much as you guys dominated today, there’s a certain team down the road that won, so does that taint this victory at all? “Not at all. Not at all. We had our opportunities. Part of competitive sport and competitive life is you have to take advantage of the opportunities. So no. I really don’t hate anybody.”

Denard looked really patient in the pocket and made some good decisions. Is that the Denard you usually see in practice? “You know, I think he was a little bit beat up in the mid-year with some ailments, but I think he’s healthy now. I think he’s more confident. One thing I can tell is he’s taken ownership as a leader. That’s neat to see.”



November 20th, 2011 at 5:14 PM ^

He kept motioning with his hand from behind his camera that was mounted on a tripod.  He was ducking awkwardly below his camera and in between tripods.  I, and no one else who saw him knew what the hell he was doing.  He eventually got the attention of someone sitting in the back row directly in front of the camera.  The guy was very reluctant to do anything.  The cameraman apparently bugged him enough that he eventually got up and walked toward Matt Trevor from U-M to tell him that the cameraman wanted the mic.  I think someone other than Trevor handed him the mic.

I thought the question sucked, too.


November 19th, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^


   That Dileo play was an excellent call, I'm usually the one always yelling "Go For It!!" on every 4th down and I still didn't even think of the possibility of a fake once the field goal team came out.   

The site's banner says it all, In Hoke I Trust


November 19th, 2011 at 9:46 PM ^

“Well I don’t know. They want to win, we want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s Nebraska or Slippery Rock. We want to win the football game.

Hoke gets it.
I wear a maize and blue Slippery Rock T-shirt to most games.


November 19th, 2011 at 9:52 PM ^

"So no. I really don’t hate anybody.”  Really illustrates the difference between Hoke and Dantonio.  So proud to have Brady as our coach.

Bobby Digital

November 19th, 2011 at 10:32 PM ^

Dantonio would have taken some passive-aggressive, half-baked shot at Michigan or somebody's height. Also contrast the way Hoke highlights his respect for OSU with how Dantonio responds to any Michigan question; it's nice to have a coach who wins and seems like a genuinely good dude... instead of a douche with a raging inferiority complex.


November 20th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

I was at about the 20 yard line, north end, on Nebraska's side, and when I turned to shoot the catch, I saw he was throwing into double coverage.  I thought the pass was going to be short.  From my angle it looked like both defenders misplayed the ball and M.O. made a great catch on Denard's best throw ever.


November 20th, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

That DB's decision to hire Hoke was excellent on all levels.  He focuses on defense first, demands physical play from big linemen on both sides of the ball and believes in TOP.  This is Michigan football...not the fluffy RR stuff Brian believed in.  Defense wins. 


November 20th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^, Mike Martin.  What a freaking beast.  He was shedding blocks, working the gaps, and often in the backfield.  My man crush continues., Jr Hemingway.  He kept at least two, maybe three, drives alive with some key catches.  Great throws by DRob, too..., Odoms.  DEEDZ MOAR ODOMZZZZZ!!  Great body control and awareness. Fitz.  He has developed to a power, slashing, and speedy back.  I love how he's grown since the first week of the season.  

I'm just like.....dang....watched the replay of the game twice already.  The line of scrimmage was all Michigan yesterday.  

Bring on dat team from Ohio.


November 20th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

Sorry for the language, But I had to comment my opinions. about them.


            Only thing I disagree with from the transcript from Coach Hoke: "...I respect their football team, program, and school." 


            I do not respect their team, theit program, or their school.  They are all no good, dirty rotten, pig stealin', "bag of baby dick" eatin, tattoo wearin, P.O.S ., no talent hacks that don't know football and would not want anyone of them on any one of my favortie teams.  They can all go to hell, and will after Mike Martin and Jordan Kovacs gets done with them on the 4th Saturday of November.


beat those no talent hacks from the worst state ever





November 21st, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

...Hoke is also playing a little bit of a political game here.  Not that he's trying to be "PC" or anything, but I think the last thing he wants to do is give tsio any locker room bulletin board fodder.  Here we are 5 yrs later, and Sparty is STILL holding onto the little brother comment.  I think he wants to avoid giving them any additional emotional motivation....The Game provides enough of that already.


November 21st, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

But Brady believes it too. He grew up with the Woody vs. Bo rivalry, and the way things were done pre-Tressel, and pre-Columbus completely becoming an insane asylum. If you're a younger fan, you probably can't remember hating OSU, and knowing things were probably shady down there.  But there was a time it was the hardest hitting, but cleanest game out there.  There was respect.  Woody may have been a bit kooky, and OSU booster have always been bad, but the at least tried to run a fairly clean program.  Cooper losing so much sent them all off the deep end.  So he does have respect for the program. Maybe, privately, not it's current state...but for the history.